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Canadian schools reputations and effects on US admissions


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For anyone who has experience with the application system:

 

How are Canadian universities viewed by American medical schools? In Canada, pretty much all the universities are viewed the same, but it seems like in the US, 'reputation' is much more important.

 

Might this have some sort of bearing on the very favourable AMCAS conversion scale? I.e. just because Canadian students will have high GPAs (because of favourable conversion) is offset by the fact most adcoms have no idea about Canadian schools and think you've graduated from a fly-by-night-buy-your-degree institution?

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you are making a very valid point, was thinking about that few weeks ago. I think Mcgill,Queens and U of T have a pretty good reputation or should have one at least.

I come from the University of Ottawa and it don't think we even have a good reputation here in Canada!

I did a search on mdapplicants the other day and couldn't find any student from the Universit of Ottawa who even ventured there!!

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Depends on the school. For the top 20 schools coming from UofT, McGill, UBC really matters. But this will not stop you from getting lots of interviews, acceptances is another story however. For middle-teir and lower teir, school rep does not matter so much.

 

you are making a very valid point, was thinking about that few weeks ago. I think Mcgill,Queens and U of T have a pretty good reputation or should have one at least.

I come from the University of Ottawa and it don't think we even have a good reputation here in Canada!

I did a search on mdapplicants the other day and couldn't find any student from the Universit of Ottawa who even ventured there!!

 

your fellow ottawa mates:

 

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=6830

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=6801 (didnt apply to american schools however).

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Depends on the school. For the top 20 schools coming from UofT, McGill, UBC really matters. But this will not stop you from getting lots of interviews, acceptances is another story however. For middle-teir and lower teir, school rep does not matter so much.

 

 

 

your fellow ottawa mates:

 

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=6830

http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=6801 (didnt apply to american schools however).

 

So your chances of getting into an "upper tier" school in the US if you don't come from UT/McGill are slim, even if you have a good GPA?

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How are Canadian universities viewed by American medical schools? In Canada, pretty much all the universities are viewed the same, but it seems like in the US, 'reputation' is much more important.
In my experience, American adcoms tend to think that all Canadian schools are pretty good, and lump them all together. I had friends in undergrad at York that were accepted to Harvard, Stanford and Yale medical schools, as well as a variety of top-tier graduate schools for research programs. If you want to get into an ivy league medical school in the US, you need a strong package: top MCAT scores, excellent grades, glowing references, and outstanding extracurriculars. Where you went to school is far less important.
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In my experience, American adcoms tend to think that all Canadian schools are pretty good, and lump them all together. I had friends in undergrad at York that were accepted to Harvard, Stanford and Yale medical schools, as well as a variety of top-tier graduate schools for research programs. If you want to get into an ivy league medical school in the US, you need a strong package: top MCAT scores, excellent grades, glowing references, and outstanding extracurriculars. Where you went to school is far less important.

 

Where you go to school directly affect your grades and what types of opportunities that are open to you, and of course, the competition for those opportunities. So in the end, its a contradiction. Where you go does matter.

Again, doesn't mean if you go to York, u'll automatically be considered dumber than UofT students. But there are school differences, and UofT is more academically challenging.

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Hey

I have a friend who interviewed in the US and when he mentioned that he was from Canada, most interviewers would say : You must be from McGill! They seemed disappointed when he said that he came from U of T.

And yes, where you go to university will affect your grades, and hence your chances of getting in.

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Speaking to a friend of my parents who was a dean at columbia (not in med) and who asked around for me it seems that only UBC, UofT and McGill are seen as equivalent to top tier US schools and all others are unimpressive unknowns

I know that is seems ridiculous and that we all know that all Canadian schools are great schools and that great potential doctors come out of all canadian universities (please don't shoot the messenger)

But this is the answer I got and it comes from someone that I trust

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Speaking to a friend of my parents who was a dean at columbia (not in med) and who asked around for me it seems that only UBC, UofT and McGill are seen as equivalent to top tier US schools and all others are unimpressive unknowns

I know that is seems ridiculous and that we all know that all Canadian schools are great schools and that great potential doctors come out of all canadian universities (please don't shoot the messenger)

But this is the answer I got and it comes from someone that I trust

wait, so even if you have a 4.0 from western, they would look down upon the applicant b/c of the university???

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That is not what I said. Those 3 are considered equivalent to ivy league and top tier schools. Other Canadian schools are lumped in with lesser well known and respected schools in the US. But graduates from those lesser known schools also get into medical school all the time in the US so I do not think it is a big issue for any canadian applicants to be concerned about

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From my experience, I felt that McGill had the best reputation in the States closely seconded by UT. They did not know much about other schools, so don't be expected to be seen as a Yalie, but they will probably group Canadian schools with other solid public American schools. Just have a good MCAT and your GPA wouldn't be questioned.

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From my experience, I felt that McGill had the best reputation in the States closely seconded by UT. They did not know much about other schools, so don't be expected to be seen as a Yalie, but they will probably group Canadian schools with other solid public American schools. Just have a good MCAT and your GPA wouldn't be questioned.

 

I agree. McGill was by far Canada number one recognized school. UofT, UBC distant seconds. Every other school people had no idea of eg. Queens, UWO. This is if you apply to top tier schools. Because at a top 20 school you need marks+MCAT and a good school reputation. Check out the accepted student lists of Harvard, Wash U, Duke, Stanford and you will see McGill, UBC and UofT students are represented more often.

 

However outside of the top 20...I think GPA+MCAT matters more than anything else. Again you might get a interview at a top 20 school as a UWO, Queen student, but an acceptance will be harder. This might not be only because of the difficulty of schools. but other factors eg. more research opportunities, more influencial LORs, etc

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I agree. McGill was by far Canada number one recognized school. UofT, UBC distant seconds. Every other school people had no idea of eg. Queens, UWO. This is if you apply to top tier schools. Because at a top 20 school you need marks+MCAT and a good school reputation. Check out the accepted student lists of Harvard, Wash U, Duke, Stanford and you will see McGill, UBC and UofT students are represented more often.

 

However outside of the top 20...I think GPA+MCAT matters more than anything else. Again you might get a interview at a top 20 school as a UWO, Queen student, but an acceptance will be harder. This might not be only because of the difficulty of schools. but other factors eg. more research opportunities, more influencial LORs, etc

 

I second this.

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In my experience, American adcoms tend to think that all Canadian schools are pretty good, and lump them all together. I had friends in undergrad at York that were accepted to Harvard, Stanford and Yale medical schools, as well as a variety of top-tier graduate schools for research programs. If you want to get into an ivy league medical school in the US, you need a strong package: top MCAT scores, excellent grades, glowing references, and outstanding extracurriculars. Where you went to school is far less important.

 

wow, are you serious??? don't they know york's reputation???

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Well, to be fair - in all my four years of undergrad, I've never come across any research literature (life sci/medicine) from York - not b/c they don't have any, but b/c York is just not very strong in the sciences so they have very few, and the ones they do have are probably not very impactful, they also don't have a medical school with teaching hospitals - which is where U of T gets a lot of its grant money from, the research going on in hospitals research centres....the three schools that I've also discovered on my interview circuit in the US to be the only three that they think highly of, is Toronto, UBC, and McGill - all three are research powerhouses in Canada. UAlberta is also quite strong within the scientific community - York simply is not. From what my profs have told me (recommending graduate schools) - and also just from my own observation from reading TONS of research papers in undergrad - the best schools to do life science graduate work would be UBC, UAlberta, Toronto, McGill, and Dalhousie.

 

So within medicine, York is not even on the radar. I'm certain however, in the world of law, York is quite well known in the US and since Shulich School of Business is like in the top 5 worldwide, I'm quite certain York is popular amongst the business crowd too - same thing with Queens and Western, which are in the top 10 I think, worldwide. But yea, in medicine, these schools aren't going to get you any extra points.

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Well, to be fair - in all my four years of undergrad, I've never come across any research literature (life sci/medicine) from York - not b/c they don't have any, but b/c York is just not very strong in the sciences so they have very few, and the ones they do have are probably not very impactful, they also don't have a medical school with teaching hospitals - which is where U of T gets a lot of its grant money from, the research going on in hospitals research centres....the three schools that I've also discovered on my interview circuit in the US to be the only three that they think highly of, is Toronto, UBC, and McGill - all three are research powerhouses in Canada. UAlberta is also quite strong within the scientific community - York simply is not. From what my profs have told me (recommending graduate schools) - and also just from my own observation from reading TONS of research papers in undergrad - the best schools to do life science graduate work would be UBC, UAlberta, Toronto, McGill, and Dalhousie.

 

So within medicine, York is not even on the radar. I'm certain however, in the world of law, York is quite well known in the US and since Shulich School of Business is like in the top 5 worldwide, I'm quite certain York is popular amongst the business crowd too - same thing with Queens and Western, which are in the top 10 I think, worldwide. But yea, in medicine, these schools aren't going to get you any extra points.

 

yes. but isn't it much easier to get the marks at york, and i'm sure you would have more time to study for the mcat, thereby increasing your chances of scoring higher on the mcat. hypothetically, would the higher gpa + higher mcat score override the reputation of the university? as well, my york sci friends tell me that it's so easy to get a research placement there, b/c of less competition. and let's face it, undergrads doing research will not be making ripples in the scientific world anytime soon...

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I agree. McGill was by far Canada number one recognized school. UofT, UBC distant seconds. Every other school people had no idea of eg. Queens, UWO. This is if you apply to top tier schools. Because at a top 20 school you need marks+MCAT and a good school reputation. Check out the accepted student lists of Harvard, Wash U, Duke, Stanford and you will see McGill, UBC and UofT students are represented more often.

 

However outside of the top 20...I think GPA+MCAT matters more than anything else. Again you might get a interview at a top 20 school as a UWO, Queen student, but an acceptance will be harder. This might not be only because of the difficulty of schools. but other factors eg. more research opportunities, more influencial LORs, etc

 

Definitely agree with this. In fact, very few people in the northeast would have heard of UofT although it's an excellent institution, let alone elsewhere in the country. I've heard of a few classmates at Yale (graduate school) who came from McGill but not from anywhere in Canada. I feel one can get as good an education at McGill/UofT as a 1st tier Ivy and I would rather go to McGill than Dartmouth, which is in bumble****, New Hampshire.

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  • 1 month later...
Where did it get the shaft?

 

No im saying that people mentioned that UBC, UT, and McGill are the only ones with high rep, everything else is not..I'd figure that Queen's and even UWO should be right up there.

Even tho york took a couple hits here, its a great school for business/law etc, and its probably not fair to just throw it in the junk pil right off the bat

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I'm sure we can all find examples of how someone we know got into a top school in the US. In reality, coming in as a canadian is hard, regardless of where you went to school. If you have the gpa, mcat, research, clinical, and ecs...do well on the interview..you'll be fine. I can list off people from UManitoba, UWinnipeg, and "no name" schools that have gotten into big namy schools in the US for med, grad, or whatever else.

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